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Abuja landlord, four others risk jail term for drilling borehole illegally

By Esther Kalu

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), has disclosed plans to prosecute a landlord and four other persons for destruction of public property in Abuja after drilling a borehole illegally.

The landlord who owns House No. 4, Sani Zangon Daura St., off Bala Muhammad Way, Guzape District, Abuja, was said to have allegedly commissioned a company to drill a borehole on a walkway.

Confirming the incident, the FCTA Director, Department of Development Control, Muktar Galadima, who led the operation, said that it was appalling to see the level of destruction of public property by developers and landlords.

Galadima warned that the FCTA would not hesitate to use relevant laws to prosecute violators who are found guilty of drilling borehole illegally and destroying public properties.

He disclosed that the residents in the axis had found some people drilling borehole on their road and reported the issue to them.

“They drilled the borehole on the pedestrian walkway; in fact my heart is pained. This is a serious damage to the environment. Definitely we are going to prosecute him. That is why we are in liaison with Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) and other relevant agencies to prosecute the offenders.

“This is damaging public property. This is vandalism. This is an opportunity for me to warn other developers that we will not accept this from any developer.” he said.

Galadima said that the FCTA would resist any attempt by any developer to use pedestrian walkway to drill borehole as they must obtain approval they can drill borehole wherever it is going to be.

On his part, AEPB’s Head, Monitoring and Enforcement, Kaka Bello, said that the board would corroborate with FTCA to prosecute the alleged culprit.

Also, the Chief Engineer in charge of Guzape area, Aliyu Ahmed lamented over the rate at which boreholes were being drilled indiscriminately in the area.

“The issue of drilling of boreholes on our walkway has been rampant. There are many boreholes sunk around this area alone.We are going to lock up all the illegal boreholes. Drilling borehole on the road corridor is illegal. You can drill borehole inside your compound but the outside of your compound doesn’t belong to you.” he said.

Meanwhile, a staff of the drilling firm handling the project, Davita Drill Tech, Solomon Donald, said that they started the drilling since Sunday but could not ascertain whether there was a permit from the authorities to drill since the owner of the house could not be reached.

As gathered, FCTA authorities apprehended Donald and three of his colleagues, including a gateman for further questioning.

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